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The present paper makes use of Michel Foucault’s theory from Discipline and Punish according to which one of the means by which women’s bodies are controlled is through their hystericization by the power-knowledge-wielding medical profession. Taking Stoker’s famous novel as a case in point, I mean to show that the men of the novel, embodiments of Reason and Empire, gathered around the guiding medical intelligence of professor Van Helsing, act upon the bodies of the vampirized women (Lucy and Mina) in a way that is the metaphorical expression of the symbolic violence perpretated against women socially. Thus, the novel is gothic in more ways than one: its much-discussed portrayal of sexually-liberated femininity through vampirization finds its counterpart in the less-approached medical masculinity, a reinforcer of masculine domination.
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